How to adopt a child? Are there things I should know before starting the process?

How to adopt a child? Are there things I should know before starting the process?

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         Before starting the adoption process, it is important to get as educated as you possibly can. Before you even decide to adopt, make sure you're doing it for the right reasons. A lot of people adopt to 'rescue' a child, but that's not how it works- especially if you're talking about domestic infant adoption. Here is an article about other things that need to be addressed before you decide to adopt.

         Another thing you should decide is exactly what kind of adoption you want. There are three basic types- foster, domestic, and international. Here are some great resources that provide a ton of information about the different kinds of adoption, as well as the pros and cons of each.

         The next thing you need to do is get the ball rolling on the actual adoption process. For all three types of adoption, a home study, along with lots and lots of paperwork, are required. For international and domestic adoption, you will need to figure out how to pay for it, as it can cost anywhere between $20-50,000. Here is a very thorough explanation of the ins and outs of all the requirements and steps you need to take to adopt a child, as well as a link to learn about ways to afford adoption.

        Lastly, before you adopt, please educate yourself on open adoption. Birth parents matter, and your child deserves to know them. Check this link out to learn more about what open adoption is, and why it's so necessary.

    I hope you have found these resources helpful. Best of luck on your adoption journey!


  • The above poster did a great job outlining what you need to know and a little bit of the process. I wanted to add a little bit of information on things you might need to know or things that I felt were helpful to know about the adoption process. One thing to know, is that the adoption wait will vary from person to person. The question I most often get is wondering how long it will take. It varies with every single type of adoption. When you are looking for agencies you can ask them for a better idea of their wait times.

    Another thing to know, is that there is inevitably that sticker shock when you find out how much an adoption might cost. For some people, money is no object and its really more of a simple thing. However for most of us, money does matter. My husband and I are very middle class. And I have to say that if we can afford adoption, most people can. I say this all to let you know that you shouldn't give up due to funding. There are so many ways to raise money for an adoption. You can read more about your options here.

    As mentioned above, birth parents are so important. Definitely read up on open adoption as suggested. I feel like there are often quite a few stereotypes about adoption and about birth parents in general. But there are many studies and experiential stories out there about why open adoption is so much healthier when it is an option. I'm not sure if you have some sort of leaning one way or another, but have an open mind and read up on the value of open adoption. It will be so worth it for your child.

    If you are waiting an adoption match, it is really important to read up on how to spot unethical agencies and adoption scams. Unfortunately they happen. If someone tries to reach out to you online to solicit adoption, also always go through an agency or your attorney. Don't ever give anyone money. You can read more about the what to do and not to dos here.
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